July 28, 2021

fires in western Canada, 1,000 evacuees

About a thousand people were evacuated Wednesday evening in British Columbia, western Canada, due to fires added to the unprecedented heat wave, announced Thursday 1is July the provincial authorities.

British Columbia has recorded 62 new fires in the past 24 hours, said Premier John Horgan. “I can only stress that the risk of fire is currently extreme in almost all parts of British Columbia and I urge British Columbians to listen carefully to authorities and follow directions.”, he pressed during a press briefing.

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John Horgan said he asked for reinforcements from Justin Trudeau’s federal government. “The past 24 hours have been devastating for the residents of Lytton. Our @ForcesCanada [Forces armées canadiennes] are ready to help residents ”, confirmed Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan on Twitter.

Provincial authorities have so far not announced any injuries or deaths related to these fires, which were noted in particular north of the city of Kamloops, located 350 km northeast of Vancouver.

At around 5 p.m., the British Columbia fire departments clarified that they expected “Another very difficult day with forest fires”, because of “Unprecedented hot and dry conditions encountered in recent days”.

Lytton village destroyed

A fire in the mountains north of Lytton, British Columbia, Thursday July 1, 2021.

“An exceptionally strong ridge over British Columbia will continue to bring record temperatures for the next two days”Environment Canada also said in a bulletin published early Thursday morning for the Prince George area in British Columbia. “The length of this heatwave is worrying, as there is little respite from the heat at night due to the high nighttime temperatures. “

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The Canadian village of Lytton, some 250 km northeast of Vancouver, now famous for having this week set a national heat record of 49.6 ° Celsius, has been almost completely destroyed. The 250 residents had been evacuated Wednesday evening due to a fire that spread very quickly. The evacuation order was then extended, overnight Wednesday to Thursday, to residents of a hundred properties north of Lytton.

“90% of the village is burnt, including the city center”, said early Thursday afternoon, Brad Vis, MP for the constituency, said on Facebook.

On Thursday, the heat wave continued to move east across the prairies of central Canada. Apart from British Columbia, heatwave warnings have been issued for the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, as well as part of the Northwest Territories, and now northern Ontario.

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The World with AFP